Tonight is the first night since May that it has been somewhat cooler with less humidity in the air. Something other than that stifling, can’t breathe humidity that we have here. Tonight I went to sit in the sun room to smoke a cigarette and a feeling of melancholy rushed over me when I felt the cooler temperatures. I think there are so many bad things in my past that happened when the season was cooler (whether it was spring or fall), that whenever I feel that particular coolness or crispness, it sends waves of sadness over my soul.
It was November three years ago when my (now) husband moved back to his home state ten hours away to be with his kids again. I remember sitting outside on my balcony and crying into the cold wind. The three months leading to his moving away (he told me in August he was leaving and I begged him to at least stay with me until the day he moved) the days were filled with cool nights and barely hot days. I watched the leaves change colors, and with it my heart broke into pieces, turned to ashes, and blew away in the October wind. We lived together, we did things together, but he stopped telling me he loved me. I went out on dates and he knew about it and didn’t care. I stayed away overnight with friends and it didn’t phase him. I cried and pleaded for him to love me, and he told me he couldn’t. He shut himself off, shut himself down, and looked at me like he didn’t know me. He turned himself off so that I would move on. He did it to keep his sanity. Men seem to have that capability. Me? I don’t know how to do anything else except love people and show it. I wear my heart on my proverbial sleeve. I always have. I always will.
The year and a half he was gone, I remember the cold days the most. I remember the loneliness that seeped into my pores. I remember falling asleep at night feeling so cold and empty inside. I cried so much I couldn’t breathe. I missed him so much it was a physical pain. I cried for a year and a half, though it did lessen throughout the months. I missed him every single day, though. That’s how I knew he was the one. That’s how I knew that I had to let him go. I let him go, and I moved forward, and he moved on with his life. We text each other every so often to see how the other was doing. Twice I flew up there to spend time with him and his kids. Each time I came back home I felt empty inside. He came down here twice to visit his family. Each time we were drawn to each other like magnets. Like nothing had ever happened. We carried on like he’d never left. The spring of 2015 he came down with the kids for a week and stayed at his brothers house. I stayed four nights out of the seven … but I was over there every day except for one. On his last day there, I held it together and had finally accepted that we were just not meant to be together right now. I would see him whenever I could, I would maintain our friendship. I could do this. I could figure out how to have some semblance of happiness without him. I wanted him to be happy above all.
The day he left to drive back home, ten hours away, he called me before he even got out of the state. He told me he had talked to his kids, that they loved it down here more than they loved being in their home state. They were okay with him living here, and us seeing them eight weeks of summer, a week in the spring, a week in the winter, and us going up there to see them in between. They loved me and wanted their dad to marry me. My husband added the days he had his kids (every other weekend) and added how much he’d have them if he lived here. There was only a few days difference. He told me he was dying inside up there. He hated it there. He missed me and he loved me and he didn’t want to do this anymore without me by his side.
It was never a question of if he could come back. It was understood. I would have taken him back into my life under any circumstance. Maybe I was supposed to play hard to get, but that isn’t my style. I wanted him back. I wanted to marry him. I wanted him to know that with me, he had a home.
He was married for seven years to a woman that didn’t appreciate him. One day while he was at work, she packed her things, their children, and she moved out of their house and then sent him a text message telling him she was leaving him and she was taking the kids with her. So now, whenever she get’s bitchy and blames him for “abandoning his kids” because he moved here, I told him to tell her every single time that she was the one who started this shit by leaving him and taking their children with her. She has no one to blame but herself. He deserves happiness too, and he got out of that shit-stick dead-end town. But she always tries to give him hell for moving so far away. His children have told us both multiple times that they wish they could live with us, that they hate it up there. When they are old enough to decide in a court of law, that’s just what we will do.
I went through so much hell and so much heartache over this man. I let him go, I grieved, and I dreamt of a day when my own daughter was 18 so I could pack my things and move up there to be with him. I kept living my life while thinking about him so much it consumed me. But I let him be and I let him figure things out on his own. And now I have him, and now we’re married, and now my life makes sense.
My grandma died six years ago on a cool October night. I remember being able to see my breath in the air as I sat outside and waited for the funeral home to arrive to take her body away. I remember going into the bedroom and staring at this soulless body of a woman I hardly recognized without the light in her eyes. In seeing her gone, it was then that I truly understood that this body is just a temporary home. I had seen her four hours before she died, standing at her bedside and holding her hand. I asked her if she was going to see Jesus. She looked at me and told me it wouldn’t be long. I told her that it was okay, that she could go, that we would be fine. She nodded her head and turned to look at whatever it was that I couldn’t see. I went home for a few hours to get some sleep. At 1:52 in the morning I woke up out of sleep because my heart was beating so fast that it was in my ears. I briefly wondered if I was having some kind of heart attack, and then the feeling subsided and I knew immediately that my grandma had passed through to tell me goodbye. As soon as my heart rate went back to normal, my phone rang, and my mom told me she was gone. I told her that I knew. I got into my car and drove back the hour and ten minutes to my mom’s house. The hospice nurse and I went into her bedroom and I said my goodbye’s to her. I sat outside and I didn’t cry. I smiled softly knowing that she was no longer in pain, she was no longer half-paralyzed. There would be no more drinking in her life. She was free of all restrictions that her body put on her. She was whole and new and with her family that had passed before her. I was happy for her.
And a week later, as I was sleeping, I had a dream that we were in my old neighborhood, near the mailboxes. My grandma came walking out of the woods wearing the same kind of clothes that she always wore (jeans, black shoes, and a button down fleece man shirt), and I walked up to her and hugged her and said “Are you okay?” and she said “Okay? Hell yeah. I’m better than okay.” And that was it. That was the last dream I had of her. I’d be willing to bet a years salary that it was her way of coming back to me and telling me that she was just fine. I will never forget that for as long as I live. I could feel her arms around me. I could hear her voice as if it were right there. It was the most beautiful moment in my life. I got to tell her goodbye one last time, and she got to reassure me that she was fine. I got to hug my grandma after she left this world. One day I will see her again.
I was raised Christian, but I decided last year that I can’t conform to just one religion. I don’t think there is just one religion that gets you to heaven. I believe that as long as you love God, you do good things, and you are selfless in life, that your ticket to heaven is given to you. As a Christian, I was raised to believe that the only way to heaven is through the salvation of Jesus. I think that’s one way to heaven, but I don’t think God would punish those that were raised to believe differently (like Muslims or Jews) …. I think we all have an opportunity to have a place in heaven. No matter what color or sexuality you are – if you are pure at heart, you have nothing to worry about. Anyone who asks me what I am now, I just tell them I’m a Theist. It’s what I am. It’s what I believe. I’m happier for it, too.